ROMEO club evacuated from Redneck Gourmet

by Celia Shortt


A suspicious package found at the Coweta County Courthouse brought an evacuation of the immediate downtown area. The ROMEO Club was interrupted during its regular Wednesday breakfast at The Redneck Cafe. Waiting down the block are, from left, Bob Penrose, Larry Taylor, Bob Havert, Ledon Denham, Loy Ware, Jerry Barnes, Ron Pinson, Jack Jackson, and Brad Hyatt. 

The ROMEO Club’s weekly meeting at a Court Square eatery was interrupted Wednesday morning when downtown Newnan was evacuated because of a suspicious package found on the west side of the 1904 Coweta County Courthouse.

ROMEO stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out, and every Wednesday its members meet at The Redneck Cafe on North Court Square to eat breakfast together.

This Wednesday morning was different as police officers came into the restaurant and told everyone who needed to leave to go ahead and leave, and everyone else to move away from the windows.

“They wouldn’t tell us why,” said Brad Hyatt, a member of the Romeo Club.

Hyatt said a little while later, they came in again and told them they had to leave and go one block north for their safety as authorities had found an unidentified package outside of the courthouse.

Hyatt, other club members and Redneck employees all left the building and waited at the corner of Madison and Jefferson streets for the all clear.

“The biggest thing is we can’t access our cars,” said Hyatt as the group waited.

Despite being stuck outside and away from their vehicles, Hyatt and his friends were in good spirits and made the most of the situation by laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

Romeo member Loy Ware laughed and said they really couldn’t do anything else. Soon after, the all clear was given as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found the box to be non-threatening, as it just had printed materials in it.

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